No. 2: Week 15 — Falcons @ 49ers
Oh, hey! The Falcons are back on this list again.
A week after the Niners visit the Bengals, they’ll enjoy yet another late-season matchup against a restructuring Atlanta squad that certainly got better, offensively, during the offseason by making Florida tight end Kyle Pitts its No. 1 pick in this year’s NFL Draft.
Granted, it’s anyone’s guess whether or not Julio Jones is still donning a Falcons uniform by that point, as trade speculation has ramped up in recent days. But Jones, combined with Pitts and fellow wide receiver Calvin Ridley, makes for a defensive challenge for San Francisco nonetheless.
If there’s a bonus, though, the Falcons defense is expected to be bad in 2021. But as 2019 showed, the Falcons still have enough offensive firepower to match the 49ers in a would-be shootout.
Yet what makes this contest a bigger trap game is the fact the Niners have to go back out on the road the following week — a short turnaround for a Thursday Night Football contest against the playoff-favorite Tennessee Titans, which could potentially point towards the team focusing more on that challenge and travel more than handling the necessary business against Atlanta.
Perhaps the best scenario here would be for San Francisco to be flat in Cincinnati the week before but win, thereby using the focus against the Falcons before heading to Tennessee.